Recently spun off from the Triumph Group, Turbine Aero wants to become “The MTU or Delta TechOps of APUs,” summarizes CEO Rob Higby. Three divisions of Triumph are owned by private-equity firm The Gore Group and, as Turbine Aero, are seeking to provide full-service overhauls, repairs, asset management, leasing and other programs for auxiliary power units on all mainline aircraft, from C919s, 737s, and 320s on up to bigger jets.
With 35 years of experience, the company is still “a bit like a $100-million-a-year start-up,” Higby explains. It works for civilian customers as well as APUs on C-17 Globemasters, KC-10 Extenders and even Air Force One. A facility in Chandler, Arizona, supports APUs in the Americas and Western Europe, one in Chonburi, Thailand, supports Asian and East European customers, and a Tempe, Arizona, site repairs APU components. With 250 employees, Turbine can thus provide complete APU system and component repairs globally.
Turbine works closely with APU OEMs and makes some components for Honeywell APUs. “We want to be as OEM-allegiant as we can,” Higby says, “but still offer customers a choice. For example, if they have a DER or want used serviceable materials, we can be more flexible.” The company supports all Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney APUs, except those used on regional aircraft.
Higby has great hope for the Chonburi site serving the fast-growing Asian market. TurbineAero supports Lion Air and recently announced contracts with Spring and Donghai Airlines. The company is a significant part of Thailand’s plans to develop a maintenance center to compete with Singapore in Southeast Asia.